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United Way to give nonprofits in region $563,889 in funding

By Staff | Apr 14, 2009

The United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties will receive funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the tricounty area.
Lee County agencies will receive $507,103, Hendry County agencies will receive $43,445 and Glades agencies will receive $13,341.
Cliff Smith, president of the local United Way, said the money is part of FEMA’s nondisaster relief funds.
According to Smith, the amount of relief funds distributed to each county depends on population and unemployment rate. Communities throughout the United States, including Southwest Florida, receive the money each year.
“The amount of funding is significantly more than last year … it doubled,” he said. “The good news is we have funding. The bad news is that it’s driven by a high unemployment rate.”
Lee County agencies set to receive funding include Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center, Amigos Center, Bonita Springs Assistance, Cape Caring Center, Catholic Charities, Community Cooperative Ministries, F.I.S.H of Sanibel, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Interfaith Caregivers, Lee County Human Services, Lee Mental Health, Lehigh Community Services, Nations Association, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.
The money is allocated via a committee of local faces that is considered a “cross section” of people from across the community, according to United Way communication manager Louise Hawthorne
Smith went on to say that the money has been “geographically distributed” to the agencies to have a direct impact on their particular communities, and that have systems in place to reach out directly to those communities.
He added that 98 percent of the funds go to the agencies, with 2 percent spent on administrative costs.
“We wanted to distribute the money to the geographic places so people would have easier access to the money … It goes to agencies who already have an infrastructure,” Smith said.
For those looking to take advantage of the allocated funds, it is recommended they contact the United Way via its 211 hotline, by simply dialing 211.
Smith said people are welcome to contact their various community organizations directly, but the United Way’s database may help answer questions.
“If they need help, they can get to the right place by dialing 211,” he said.
For more information on the United Way, visit: unitedwaylee.org.
Exact figures of monies received by each agency were not available by press time Monday.